Foreign workers are getting jobs instead of Canadians. Foreign workers are cheaper to hire and will work for much less than the average Canadian citizen.

The Foreign Worker Program was originally designed to give Canadian businesses an extra pool of workers to tap into during times of labor shortages. Instead of hiring Canadians first for a liveable wage, companies in British Columbia used the program as an excuse to overlook Canadian workers.

The overhauled reform seeks to silence critics of the government program by adding penalties and restrictions to hiring foreign workers. Proposed changes to the program would include no longer allowing businesses in high unemployment areas to hire foreign workers. A dramatic increase in fees will be placed on the companies who choose to use foreign workers at all.

Opponents of this reform argue that making unemployment rates the main factor in densely populated areas doesn’t make sense. The more heavily populated the area, the higher the unemployment. They argue that just because unemployment is high does not necessarily convey that the workforce is willing or able to do the jobs available. Proposals have been made to give foreign workers citizenship.

The focus should be on whether the proposed fees and penalties are high enough to get companies to hire Canadians. All that matters when it comes to business is the bottom line. If the fees and penalties don’t cost a company as much as having to pay higher wages to Canadians, then these companies will continue to use foreign workers.

The loopholes that are bound to exist are also in question along with the question of whether or not the penalties are stiff enough. Loopholes are the reason why companies were able to abuse the system in the first place. Reform may actually be just a pacifier while business as usual continues.